Archive for the 'Book Picked Me' Category

Bad Feminist

Thoughts bfbyrg Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Harper 2014, 320 pages

I often feel like a bad feminist. I’m not doing it right. My example is piss poor. I often feel unworthy to declare my feminist label.

Which is why this book is fabulous. No one can be the ultimate perfect feminist!

I know many Christians who certainly aren’t perfect and yet have no doubts to claim being Christian. It really is almost the second line of the ‘faith profession’ if you think about it. “I have sinned; forgive me.” and wa la! GRACE. And not to say this excuses bad behavior, I know. This post isn’t to defend my Christianity (and I am one), the point is that I should NOT be embarrassed to stand up and say,

“Yes, I’m a feminist.”

And I usually do, but…

I REALLY enjoyed Gay’s collection of essays on her life and her thoughts, her complications and her contradictions. Her courage to say these things loudly and proudly.

This book made me think about a lot of things. Maybe ALL of the things. I didn’t always agree but I appreciate the new viewpoints on the issues. I learned a few words, I learned much more about Scrabble than I knew I needed to know, I was introduced to many cool sounding books* that have made it to my tbr, and thus,

FIVE SLICES of PIE.

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* Kate Zembrano’s Green Girl or Heroines, anyone?

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Dorothy Parker Portable Library

Thoughts tvplbydp Viking Press 1963 (orig 1926-1944), 544 pages

“A One-Volume Edition of Her Stories & Poems including Here Lies: Laments for the Living, After Such Pleasures; Not so Deep as a Well: Enough Rope, Sunset Gun, Death & Taxes; and 5 Stories Now First Published in Book Form”

tpdpaudio Blackstone Audio 2007, Edited by Marion Meade/Narrated by Lorna Raver, 13 hrs 22 min

 

LOVED.

LOVED THIS SO MUCH.

and yet, I wonder if best in smaller doses which means that I want somebody to buy me this for Christmas so I always have it on hand when I need.

I didn’t just devour this collection, I rolled in it like a dog rolls in mud. I read it higgledy-piggledy, jumping around as I do with short story collections that aren’t themed, and I listened to the audiobook. I read some and then I listened some. I mostly listened to the poetry rather than read and many of the short stories I read and then listened immediately to experience it again.

YES. Dorothy is cleverly snarky and delivers excellent character ‘voice’. And much is NOT flattering. Just the kind of smart bitch that can deliver an insult without the insulted person realizing it because they just don’t get it. GOOD STUFF.

She really sees a situation, every nuance, every discrepancy, all the hypocrisy. Though delightfully funny, it has poison-laced sadness, too.

Highly recommended.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

 

The Boston Girl

The Boston Girl tbgbyad by Anita Diamant, Scribner 2014, 320 pages

I purchased this from an independent bookseller in Newport RI. I promptly went back to the boat and devoured this. I then passed it on to a friend who I’m sure will only think it ‘meh’. But I could be wrong. We never like the same books…

I would rate it 3.5 stars but am boosting or rounding up to 4 because there are some awesome pie mentions!

What’s it ABOUT: A Jewish woman, Addie Baum, reminisces her childhood and life beyond in a retelling to her granddaughter. It has sad and scary moments and a few laughs;  overall she has found Love and has lived a wonderful life.

I’m not really sure it has much plot. (Which is why I think my friend won’t like it.)

It is warm and uplifting and reminds me to cherish my friendships.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey

Thoughts tlsoqhbyrja The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey by Rachel Joyce, Random House Audio 2014 (Bond Street Books 2014), 10 hours 36 minutes, Narration by Celia Imrie

Publisher’s blurb:  In this poignant parallel story to Harold’s saga, acclaimed author Rachel Joyce brings Queenie Hennessy’s voice into sharp focus. Setting pen to paper, Queenie makes a journey of her own, a journey that is even bigger than Harold’s. One word after another, she promises to confess long-buried truths–about her modest childhood, her studies at Oxford, the heartbreak that brought her to Kingsbridge and to loving Harold, her friendship with his son, the solace she has found in a garden by the sea.  

What’s it ABOUT:  Read the bit above.

Why did I read this:  BECAUSE I LOVED HAROLD FRY. Can’t help it. I did.

What’s the big deal:  You all know that book that sends some one over the-top enthusiastic for a lovely lovely charming deep made-me-cry book and OH SO CHARMING!  (I think I just like charming)  YOU BECOME WARY. Anyway, and then you read that same book and it’s GOOD, it’s maybe better than OK; but it didn’t light the pilot light of your gas stove, yaknowwhatImean, and you wonder what was wrong. Was it mood?  Was it a different odd energy connection?

I’m just going to say it but I think Rachel Joyce is now my new favorite author. Certainly one of my top 3 fiction writers and I now I can’t decide if I should rush out to buy/read her Perfect novel or wait. Do I wait?  Will the third-book-jinx strike?!  I seem to have a thing about the third book being disappointing.

And I do think it is because I’m so wrapped up expecting fireworks of amazement that I miss the comfortable hmmm-this-is-GOOD in a GOOD solid way?

I know that Harold Fry was a head-scratcher for some of my friends (and regular people on goodreads, yikes) and I know that Ti and I usually do NOT agree on books and we are both adoring fans of Harold. So… I don’t even know what that means.

OK. Here’s what it means.

I doesn’t matter. Sometimes a books is AMAZING and sometimes it is not but I love ALL of it. I even love my 2 star reads (because they make me feel smart?)

We don’t have to agree and we don’t have to apologize or feel bad for any reading experience, ever.

I do love my 2-star reads. [GOODREADS SAYS TWO STARs MEANs “It’s OK.”] I have only read one or two seriously disappointing books (one star or less) IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Those incredibly bad but with arrogant authors that can’t be separated from any of their so-called prose; that made me all stabby and want to ban said author from any publishing world.

And I think that is a darn fine track record.

The books I read are not to impress you. They are to impress me. and IMPRESS doesn’t mean here TO THINK WELL OF, but to make some kind of IMPRESSION ON. Three star books are extremely valuable to me; they temper, they allow me to be super dooper impressed when the chemistry and stars align for the OMG-awesome books.

If Harold Fry didn’t wow your socks off, then I doubt you need to read Queenie’s journey. But if you love the deep and sad and the happy and touching and want to see if this delivers? Read Miss Queenie’s version (but read Harold first, due to spoilers) and I dare you not to cry. Then call me when you are done and we can cry together. Joy is not a feeling to be trifled with.

I love books that touch me like this one did. And I wasn’t sure it was going to until the end. (much like Harold’s book, actually). And yet. I know that there are more books for me to experience which just might top!  Isn’t that tremendously exciting? I’m totally showing off my book-geekness, I know…

AND. Oh do I dare say this? I did find flaws with this book. I did have some issues but they just paled compared the goodness I saw and felt.

Quotes:

“I realized that I had looked for these landmarks instead of saying goodbye. But sometimes, you don’t say the word because you think the thing is ongoing; when actually, it is already over.”

“They were a delicious bunch. But always forgetting the sensible things like food and daylight and only remembering the more intoxicating things like love and gin.”

“The sorrow is not gone, it just no longer hurts as much.”

The narration is wonderful.

Rating: Five slices of British Meat Pie.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

How To Build a Girl

Thoughts HtBaGbyCM How To Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, Harper 2014, 352 pages

WHY I read this: I think it might have been on sale. I had it on my Kindle. Amazon tells me when but not how much I spent; the when was January of this year. When we took off for a long weekend to Kentucky, I realized that I hadn’t brought any other books with me besides Pet Sematary. Well. I had been limiting my reading to 30 pages per day of PS and the long car ride meant that I would have more time than book. So upon opening my Kindle app on the iPad, I saw How to Build a Girl. Perfect antidote to King, was my first thought.

Truthfully, I forget about books hiding in the eBook apparatuses.* They are so silent and unobtrusive. I had to move this book to last priority, though, when I realized a book club book that was SITTING in the OBVIOUS SPOT right on the stairs was jumping up and down screaming not to be forgotten like good little visible hard copy BookBooks tend to do (unlike eBooks which hide, do not jump up and down, nor scream.)

Initial CONFUSIONS: However, I was instantly confused because I had it in my head that this book was Moran’s memoir. Funny that the main character was named Johanna and more odd that it started with what it started with. I had to check goodreads to see what was the what. Yep, I had confused this novel with her How to Build a Woman book. Oops.

What It’s ABOUT: Johanna is a mere child with thoughts in her head most unlike any thoughts I had in my head at that age. Oh my. I liked her. I probably had the same tendency to talk too much and talk too much about myself but we did not have similar ideas about what we wanted when we grew up.

She is brave and fearful. She has a positive spirit. She is ambitious and naive (I was naive.) She manages to get a writing gig for a rock and roll magazine. She did things with no moral compass and yet her morality-humanity did suggest an extremely kind soul. Except when she was skewering bands she didn’t like. She was one big fierce imaginative force.

What’s GOOD: Many laugh out loud passages. Many keen observations about how life could/should be approached.

What’s NOT so good: The jarring switch in viewpoint from her teen self to her smarter older self, every so often.

FINAL Thoughts: The goodreads reviews that hated this are an interesting contrast to the ones that loved it. I just really liked Johanna, a refreshing bold new character to cheer for.

RATING: Four slices of Shepherd’s Pie.

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“I’m going to need a bigger boat. This is my recurrent problem.”  p.75

“We must away, to pastures new.” also p.75

DODDLE – easy

SCALLY – a low life loser

Book Connection- Links to Dept. of Speculation!  “I resolve that for the rest of my life, at least once a day, I wil remember this. I think it must be most cheering thought I have ever had.” p.143 [Both books try to savor and file away a happy memory for possible reference at a later time as needed.]

Book Reference – Norwegian Wood (I have no idea nor do I think I want to know what this really was a reference to…) p.149

“I think I cry for at least half an hour – the kind of crying that is like rain where it starts without warning, and violently, but eases off into sudden rainbows, and blackbirds calling out in gratitude as they swoop across wet lawns. The weeping of relief.” p.154

“For someone who lives in a house without mirrors, seeing yourself talked about by others is exhilariing. I’d alwasy had a slight worry that I might not exist – that I was a very long dream I was having.”  p.207

“”I keep breaking penises,” I think to myself dolorously on the 37 heading toward Euston station.” p.239

SCOPEY – “I simply wept, exhaustedly, in the bath, feeling very, very scopey.” p.256

“Pain has made me older and wiser. Yesterday, when I found this house messy, I cleanedit from top to bottom, like a good girl. Today, they can all go fuck themselves. Housework is endless. I am never opting in again.” p. 258

“we are all breakable. So just be kind.” p.262

“This is the terrible thing about learning everything from books – sometimes you don’t know how to say the words.” p.289

“The point of life is joy – to make it, to receive it.” p.304

“Pig Pye (14th century): Flea Pyg and cut him in pieces. Practically nothing is wasted in a good pig. A pig killed in November would still provide fresh meat, brawn and pie until Christmas.” p.311

“There is a leaving party for me, at Uncle Jim’s house – “Because we’re not having a party here,” my mother says, firmly, dishing out shepherd’s pie in the front room.” p.326

* The interwebs are frowning on my plural use of apparatus. Nope, not apparati but pieces of apparatus. Whatever. My blog, my misuse of the English language. I own it.

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Pet Sematary

When I typed the title above, my hope is it will be the last time I ever do so after this:

Thoughts psbysk Pet Sematary by Stephen King, 1983, 562 pages

TONS AND TONS OF SPOILERS.

I am thoroughly of the opinion that if you read further it is because

1. You’ve already read this so therefore anything I could and will say will not surprise nor disturb, and/or

2. You are likely NOT to read this EVEH, having no interest whatsoever in reading any scary King-shit (no offense to Uncle Stevie), and hate horror reading due to nightmare-inducing, shiver-provoking, anti-sympathies to silly scary freaky things.

You’ve been warned.

I had problems with this and yet still rated it four slices of pie.

Four slices of the very best juiciest plumpest sweetest blueberries ever encountered in a pie. With THE BEST vanilla ice cream. No whipped cream here. Home churned true vanillla, the ice cream that makes your teeth hurt cuz it is so cold.

Here are my problems.

Please forgive me if I just failed…  failed to find the answers to these because I missed them in the text. Oh well.

WHAT the heck happened to the family who lived in the house before the Creeds????????!?!??!??!?!

Why the heck did kids maintain the path to the Pet Sematary – the FAKE one? who cares, WHY.  WHY!?!?!?!

WHO did not protest any kids on their property maintaining said path?  WHA?

What was wrong with these people of Ludlow that they would humor kids to bury their pets on someone else’s property?

What the fuck WAS that Wendigo and why did he walk over Louis on his way to bury Gage?

How did Ellie react to her “NEW” parents? How did that go over? somebody tell me that, cuz it is seriously bothering me.

If I have any scary dreams from this book it is of Zelda.

Please don’t anyone tell Joann that her adorable dog is named after one of the creepiest characters in a King novel ever.

Jill’s linking the Wendigo to Johnny Depp has ruined my love for him. His birthday is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day and now I don’t know – I’m hoping I can totally forget this stupid link – I dunno. Might be ruined. Very very sad. I love Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Sniff.

I am placing this between Carrie and The Stand on my LIST OF KING.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t play with death. Death won’t play nice.

One more thing: HUH?! Did Steve Masterson never go to work again? Did Louis Creed not go to work again? Did they drive to Chicago and freak out poor Ellie?  and then what? DISNEY WORLD?  Seriously.

(Actually, I had been wondering how this book would end having guessed most of the horror and I like how Uncle Stevie did this. But SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!)

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.

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Well.  Misery in June, anyone?

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Fiction Class

Thoughts tfcbysb The Fiction Class by Susan Breen, A Plume Book 2008, 304 pages

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I like the cover.

It must be a great act of courage for a writer to teach writing. I know I would wonder about my student’s perception of my “success” or lack of success and how necessary this is to be qualified to teach. Whenever I do have a crisis in confidence when eyes are on me to explain or share or ‘deliver a lesson’, I always tell myself that I only need to know SOMETHING/ANYTHING more than the students. And we all know something that can be shared and appreciated. I don’t have to be an expert.

Anyway, I do believe good teaching rarely requires total mastery in a field. The most educated and masterful mathematician could be lousy at teaching. A great teacher inspires and pushes and encourages creativity, experimentation and practice. A great teacher is NOT the one who stands in front of the class and dumps information. Our goals can be for PBL – Project Based Learning opportunities!

Which writing fits into. Writing is creative and story-based; a story is a project, if you will. Writing is a craft with tools and techniques. The tools are words and techniques vary. A great writer just might be a horrible teacher and perhaps the best teacher is not the best-selling author. Teachers are facilitators and coaches.

You can click on the book cover above for the goodreads.com blurb on The Fiction Class if you want to know more about it. I’m rating it three slices of pie. NOTE – this is an ARC. I only saw a few typos. I am willing to send this book to anyone who wants it.

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Somewhat related to this…  Read, come back and share if you agree: “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I Don’t Teach in One” by Ryan Boudinot. There have been some responses (ahem) to this post and the comments are full of controversy.

I think Writing is a talent; some are born with more talent than others. As with Leaders. I also believe that great leaders can be built and just because you don’t have the bright talent at birth does not mean you can’t be a great leader. Same with writing.

I think it takes a great act of courage to WRITE.

Write on!

 

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

 

The Winter’s Tale

Thoughts twtbywsa_ The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, Blackstone Audio 2014 (orig 1609), ~3 hours

Narrated by LOTS of people. Click on the button above to link to Audible.doc and get all the details.

FOR:  The Back to the Classics Challenge:  Play

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  From the Publisher’s Summary

King Leontes of Sicilia is seized by sudden and terrible jealousy of his wife Hermione, whom he accuses of adultery. He believes the child Hermione is bearing was fathered by his friend Polixenes, and when the baby girl is born he orders her to be taken to some wild place and left to die. Though Hermione’s child escapes death, Leontes’ cruelty has terrible consequences. Loss paves the way for reunion, and life and hope are born out of desolation and despair.

One of the late romances in Shakespeare’s canon, this complex work is at times tragic, at times humorous, but always entertaining and enlightening.

I was ignorant of the story so I felt I needed to do more research before fully enjoying the language. I highly recommend watching this YouTube presentation in two parts by Salt n’ Pepper Shakespeare and THEN listening/reading/viewing this play:

RATING:  Three stars.  (Three for the play because I was a bit lost and it had a lot of musical interludes and it was tough to figure out the characters and five for the videos above!)

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

My List of King

Jill has told me to do this.

Allow me to present the books I have read by Stephen King; in order of how much I enjoyed the experience. Because King books for me are not just ‘books-read’ but ‘experiences-experienced’.

This ranking does not imply that the bottom of the list is bad or not good, just that the ones ranked higher were slightly more fun.

Five slices of pie
1. IT. Readalong, audiobook by Steven Weber. Sept 2012

2. 11/22/63 – only the fourth book by King and after many years’ lapse.  May 2012

3. Doctor Sleep – so much better than The Shining! when does a sequel ever do that? Readalong, audio Dec 2013

4. On Writing – I so enjoy nonfiction. Jan 2007

Four slices
5. Mr. Mercedes – really such fun characters to cheer for. Readalong June 2014

6. Lisey’s Story – inspired by On Writing to try his fiction (I was a snob and was scared)  June 2007

7. Carriebecause. Appreciate more after reading On Writing. Early 80s?! (High School, I think)

7.5 Pet Sematary – March 2015 Readalong

8. The Stand – first Readalong?? June 2012

Three slices
9. Under the Dome – Readalong (my post has lots of pie references) June 2013

10. The Shining – Readalong Feb 2013

11. Bag of Bones – Readalong (only pie reference noted “easy as pie”, really?!) Dec 2014

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Shall we go ahead and set a June Readalong for Misery?  Who’s in?!

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

What’s in a Name 7 and soon 8

challenge_2014wian

My favorite reading challenge is What’s in a Name.

For 2014, year 7 of this challenge, I read multiple books for one category but missed one category, the weather one. If I can make it happen, I will finish Wind, Sand and Stars by 12/31. I heartily HEARTILY recommend Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint Exupéry to anyone for any reason, by the way. This will be a reread for me. I own two copies.

By category:

  • Time – The Yearling / Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  • Number – Slaughterhouse-Five/Vonnegut (or Three Men in a Boat, or The Sign of Four…)
  • Name – My Antonia / Cather
  • Weather –
  • Royalty – The Count of Monte Cristo / Dumas
  • School – 101 Things I Learned in Film School / Landau

hey – FOUR of these are CLASSICS! I was on a classics role in ’14…

I had multiple choices for the Time and Royalty categories, too but didn’t read all the Queen books that I seem to be accumulating. Maybe 2015 should tackle this theme – I have books on most of the famous queens of history and am ready to read more nonfiction.

Now, announcing NEXT year’s WiaN8!

wian15

Categories – books on my shelves that might fit:   wian8

  • Words ending with INGFirst You Try Everything by Jane McCaffery, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Chabon, or Music for a Torching by AMHomes
  • ColorColor by Victoria Finlay or Vreeland’s Girl in Hyacinth Blue
  • Familial Relationship – My choice is Sister Carrie (been wanting to read this forever; it has been on too many upcoming “gonna read” lists!) but I also have The Family Orchard by Nomi Eve which would work or The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory
  • Body of Water – I think I am going to vote that a flood IS sort of a body of water and choose Margaret Atwood’s Year of the Flood. But Two Rivers by T.Greenwood is an option.
  • CityHard City by Clark Howard
  • AnimalApe House – Sara Gruen or The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
    HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine
Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

I prefer pi.

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